Where we live our lavender is in full bloom and has been for a few weeks. It’s so beautiful and smells so lovely. I love this perennial in my flower bed because it can easily take my bad habits of not watering it enough, a soccer ball hitting it full speed and little boys fall into it and it keeps on producing year after year.
When I was in high school I fell in love with all the romance that Provence became overly famous for at that time and I spent a lot of time reading Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence and copying Sara Midda’s style of watercolors. I also spent a lot of time at this fancy little French boutique where everything cost well above my babysitter’s salary. I especially loved their lavender wands from Provence, but I could never afford them. Yet each time I would wander in, I’d pick one up and smoosh it ever so gently, smell and dream. Having the ‘maker’ in me from an early age I decided to plant some of my own lavender in my parents backyard and figure out how to make my own lavender wands. They take a bit of trickery, but I’ve been making them ever since. Want to see how?
I start by gathering an odd amount of lavender stems (I think I used 35 stems here) and stripped them off all their leaves. Then I bundled them up and secured them with one of those clear plastic hair bands and tied a thin 1/8″ ribbon around that.
This next step is important to do right after you cut the lavender while the stems are still filled with moisture. Hold the little bouquet upside down and carefully bend the stems over without them breaking in half. Some will split more that you will like and that is okay, you just don’t want any to break off completely. Then I carefully start weaving the ribbon between the stems.
This is the tricky part. Those first few rows that you weave might be frusterating because the stems will sort of flopping all over the place. Hold them down firmly and try to keep your patience. After two rows they will be tamed.
I keep weaving in and out and pull the ribbon firmly and push the weaving up with my fingernail. The stems will shrink a bit as they dry so it’s well advised to keep the ribbon pulled snug, otherwise it gets too loosey goosey over time. I made this one over the course of a couple of days when I had a chance to sit outside on our back porch. It’s a nice lazy afternoon with lemonade kind of project. When I had weaved past all of the blooms, I decoratively wove the ribbon down to a spot where all the stems would tie together nicely (see top photo) and then wrapped the ribbon around the stems a number of times. I secured this with another clear hair band and then tied a bow around the band to hid it. You may want to put a dab of clear drying glue on the bow to hold it extra firm.
I cut the ends of the stems off to a uniform length and then it was time to put it to good use in a dresser drawer. While making these wands won’t quite replace a South of France vacation at least they make me feel a little bit closer.